Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tony Baretta: The Driver 1978- A Movie About The Getaway Driver & the Detective Who Has to Catch Him

Source: Tony Baretta- Ryan O'Neal & Bruce Dern-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

The Driver is a great action/drama thriller with Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern and many others. About a hotshot getaway driver played by Ryan O'Neal who drives for bank robbers and other robbers and gets them out of the clear and gets paid for that. Apparently The Driver has race car experience, but that is never made real clear in the movie. The Driver has never been caught and this big shot police detective or sergeant and his crew gets assigned to track The Driver down and catch him.

One thing I love about this movie is the realness in it as it relates to life in general. There are no Saints or Devils in it. The Driver the supposed bad guy, is not evil, but certainly not the good guy in the movie. He drives for robbers, but doesn't enjoy hurting people or hurting innocent people. He just takes care of himself and does his job to survive. Not because he wants to hurt people. The lead cop in the movie played by Bruce Dern, is suppose to be the good guy. But lets his ego into his job and uses controversial and extra-legal tactics to try to catch The Driver.

Like a set up a operation involving known robbers to get The Driver to drive for them on the job. To rob a bank that the police know is going down ahead of time and then when the job is done, the police will move in and catch everyone. But release the robbers that were in on the operation because they helped the police out. One major flaw in that plan. The head bad guy in that operation decides to screw the detective and instead of taking the money to the place that he and the detective agreed on, they took the money to a different location so they can get away.

If you like fast paced, high action and dramatic movies that never slow down and are always moving, that are also realistic, The Driver is a great movie. Probably the only Ryan O'Neal movie that I like and one of several Bruce Dern movies that I do like. Because it is not really bad guys versus the good guys, but guys on both sides that have jobs to do and go about those jobs the best that they can. With no one really winning at the end, which you see the movie for yourself to find that out. 
Tony Baretta: The Driver 1978 Trailer

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Scott Rathburn: Video: NHL 1981: 1981 Stanley Cup Playoffs

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I wish NHL Network, ESPN Classic and perhaps ESPN in general did more NHL history and showed more not just NHL classic games and not just in the offseason, but in the regular season, than they do now. Because even though I'm clearly not a hockey expert and it is at best my third or fourth sport that I follow and I'm not nearly the sports fan that I was as a kid, hockey is still pretty interesting to me and I would like to learn more about the history of the NHL. And seeing films and documentaries and old games allows for fans to do that.

Again no NHL or hockey expert here, but I do know that 1981 was the second of four straight Stanley Cups for the Long Island, soon to be Brooklyn Islanders as I call them. The Islanders of the early 1980s were very similar to the Edmonton Oilers of the mid and late 1980s. They had a lot of firepower led by Mike Bossy and many others. Great goaltending with Billy Smith and a very good defense in front of Smith with a great head coach in Al Arbor.

The NHL of the early 1980s was in a transitional period. With the Montreal Canadians having dominated the NHL in the 1970s, winning like four Stanley Cups. The power in the NHL was headed South to America with the Islanders and even West in Canada with the Oilers and Calgary Flames. Which was good for NHL fans because you didn't know who was going to win the cup every year. Because you had at least three very strong Canadian teams and several strong American teams every year. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Wolf 914: Goodfellas 1990- Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta: You Think I'm Funny?

Source: The Wolf 914-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Yes Joe, we think you are funny and you’ve been one of the funniest people in Hollywood for a very long time because you are a natural comedian who doesn’t need funny lines to be funny. Because of what you bring to them and how you deliver them. My favorite types of movies are movies that aren’t supposed to be full-time comedies that do not set out to be hysterical, but just are because of the people in them and the characters they play. Breaking Bad on AMC is a perfect example of that and so is Goodfellas.
Joe Pesci’s character in this movie is a serious bad ass. Whose murdered probably hundreds of people, sort of like Sammy Gravanao from the Gambino Crime Family in New York. But he’s a very funny man who knows how to have a good time and a great story-teller. As you see in this scene, but Goodfellas is not supposed to be a comedy. But a real life story about people who are really bad, but who are also very funny characters.
Joe Pesci’s character Tommy in this movie is a big shot Italian mobster in New York City. Not a capo meaning captain in Italian, but a made guy with his own crew and people under him. Whose very successful with his cover business’s. Business’s that are legitimate technically, but are really there to cover illegal activity like a restaurant. Or a store and he’s a very good story-teller and Henry played by Ray Liotta in this movie mentions that to him. And Tommy jokingly takes that as Henry is insulting him and scares the hell out of Henry.
The Wolf: You Think I'm Funny?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ken Pruitt: Wall Street 1987- Gordon Gecko: Greed is Good- Full Speech

Source: Ken Pruitt-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Best part of the first Wall Street movie at least and one of my favorite movies of all-time. And whatever you think of the Gordon Gecko character, or even what you think of Michael Douglas who played him, Douglas did a great job. And what made this speech so great was how accurate and real it was. Here are these people trying to make Gordon Gecko look like this greedy bastard when if anything they are just like Gecko. 

Except that Gecko is better and knows what companies are worth buying and how much he should spend on them and how to reform them. So he can make a profit off of them and of course there was some insider-trading involved here. But the facts and points of the Gecko speech are still the same that greed is good and he explains why. That without greed people wouldn’t want things for themselves. 
Without greed people wouldn’t work as hard so they could have things for themselves. So they could be as successful as possible and enjoy the fruits of their labor. And enjoy being successful, that we are all greedy, it’s just that some people are better at it than others. And people are all greedy at least to a certain extent, that it's just a matter of degree. It's not that we aren't greedy, but what level of greed is tolerable in a free society that is really the question. 
Ken Pruitt: Wall Street 1987- Gordon Gekko: Greed is Good- Full Speech

Sunday, October 19, 2014

C64 Beta: Wall Street 1987- A Look at How Wall Street and Corporate America Works

Source: C64 Beta- Charlie Sheen-
Source: C64 Beta: Wall Street 1987 Movie Trailer

Wall Street from 1987 is a very good movie about what its like to work on Wall Street and what life is like around it. Perhaps not the most accurate movie, but definitely based on reality about a man who has a lot of power on Wall Street in Gordon Gecko played by Michael Douglas. Who basically makes his living buying companies and selling them for profits as well as investing in other companies. His company if you want to call it that, doesn't make or produce anything. He buys and sells stocks as well as companies and sometimes buys companies that are losing a lot of money. Turns them around so they are profitable, even if that means laying off a lot of people and then sells those companies.

That character in this movie is named Gordon Gecko of course played of course by Michael Douglas with the famous line "greed is good" which I'll get to later, which also has to do with today's debate about Wall Street and another main character called Bud Fox played by of course Charlie Sheen, probably his best movie even though its not his funniest, whose a young up incomer on Wall Street, looking for the fast track whose basically a good guy from a good family but discovers Gordon Gecko and decides Gecko is his trip to the top. A

Bud Fox wants to work with Gordon Gecko or for him. But Gecko only wants to work with the young Fox, if Fox has insider knowledge so they can do some insider trading. Which of course is illegal, but Fox is the son of a union leader and someone who works for an independent airline played of course by Martin Sheen. Who's Charlie's real life father and the airline is about to get sold and that's where the inside knowledge comes in. And Bud Fox has what Gordon Gecko needs to buy the independent airline. 

Bud Fox's connection with Gordon Gecko is about how his knowledge of his father's business and how they can use that to buy that airline. And Fox's ability to scout Gecko's competition and get inside knowledge on them sort of like a spy. And they use that to always stay a step ahead and make sure they are always able to bid more than the competition. Because they know what the competition is able to bid and how much capital they have and what their strengths and weakness's are.

My favorite line in the movie is where Gordon Gecko gives that speech at the stockholders meeting at some company. The famous Greed is Good speech. And the funny thing is even though I'm a Democrat and greed can definitely be bad if miss used like the greed we saw in 2008 that led to the Great Recession. And to a certain extent is still going on is obviously bad and I'm not disputing that. Where corporate executives were allowed to make their companies too big, ran them into the ground and then got bailed out by taxpayers and then walked away with huge bonus's. 

But as Gordon Gecko said "greed is good, because greed allows for people to be as productive as possible to make as much money as possible. And grows companies as much as possible to make create as many good jobs as possible". The main reason why Wall Street is so relevant today, because of course of the Occupy Wall Street movement that's going on today because of their bad practices in the past and their abuse of greed as I just laid out. And how unpopular Wall Street has become today, not as unpopular as Congress (but that would be a hell of an accomplishment for anyone to accomplish) and is a great movie period as far as I'm concern. But also a great movie if you're interested in OWS. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Val Cinema: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,1974- Clint Eastwood & Jeff Bridges Become a Great Criminal Duo

Source: The Val Cinema-Jeff Bridges & Clint Eastwood-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I just saw Thunderbolt and Lightfoot for like the tenth or twentieth time on Thursday night, because it is one of my favorite movies. It is classic Clint Eastwood in one of his classic action comedies, which he's a master of. But this time he's not playing the ass-kicking tough guy who comes in, plays hero and saves the day. This time he plays a criminal, not a murderer who goes on a murder spree, but a thief and bank robber who is sort of on the run from two guys he use to work with, who think John Thunderbolt played by Clint screwed them on their last job.

The best Jeff Bridges movie of all-time at least for me and that includes The Big Lebowski, which is a top three comedy for me. Jeff Bridges plays Lightfoot, Lightfoot's first name in the movie never comes out. He plays a drifter whose been drifting since getting kicked out of boarding school as a teenager. The movie takes place up in the Northwest between Idaho and Montana. Thunderbolt is on the run from his former cronies and in hiding trying to pass as a preacher in rural Idaho.

His former partner Red Leary played by George Kennedy tracks down Thunderbolt at his church and literally takes shots at Thunderbolt in his church as he's delivering his sermon. Thunderbolt escapes and runs through a cornfield where he's almost run over by Lightfoot in a Pontiac Trans Am, that he just stole several miles back. Thunderbolt jumps in the car and that is where their partnership is formed.

The first half hour of the movie or so, it is really just about Thunderbolt and Lightfoot trying to survive and move around in Idaho. Robbing and stealing to get by, until Thunderbolt's former partners in their last bank heist catch up to them. And they are talking about the Montana bank that they robbed that none of them were able to collect from because they were almost caught and had to stash the money, which is what Thunderbolt actually did with the money. Instead of stealing all of it from himself, he hid it so he could come back to it when the heat was off.

Lightfoot gets the idea that they should try to do the same job again and rob the same bank. The four of them, Thunderbolt, Red Leary and Eddie Goody played by Geoffrey Lewis to go along with Lightfoot. Which is what they end up doing, except they run into the same problems as they did the last time. Even though they are robbing a small bank in a small town at night, the heat catches up to them quickly, because it is probably the only bank in this small Montana town. So now they are on the run again without being able to enjoy what they stole.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot finally manage to split up from Leary and Goody and go back to where Thunderbolt stashed the money he stole from the last bank job. And they get away with the money and buy a brand spanking new Cadillac convertible and celebrate with cigars. This is a classic Eastwood action comedy with the sarcasm and quick one-liners, with crazy characters that play major roles in the movie. Perhaps George Kennedy's funniest role and classic Geoffrey Lewis playing someone who doesn't seem completely there, but plays a key role in the movie. 
The Val Cinema: Thunderbolt & Lightfoot 1974 Official Trailer

Monday, October 13, 2014

Organize Crime Channel: Mafia Godfather Bosses vs. The Federal Government- Mafia Documentary

Source: Organize Crime Channel-
Source: Organize Crime Channel: Mafia Godfather Bosses vs. The Federal Government- Mob Documentary

It seems to me anyway that the only way American Justice could bring down the mob was to put them against each other. Find evidence against someone that they could use to put one of the members of the Italian Mafia down or put them a way for a while. And then tell those people "look you better talk or we are going to put you away for a long time". 

Tell the small fish in the crime family, who were small fish compared with what law enforcement really wanted and tell the small fish "its the people you work for that we are really looking to bring down. So if you tell us what you know about the people you work for and work with, we'll go easier on you and reduce the time you have to do in prison or not even send you to prison at all".

One thing that I believe that basically broke up the Italian Mafia in America, was selfishness. At least in the sense that a lot of the deputies and soldiers in these organizations were more interested in their personal freedom and staying out of prison for long-term sentences, than they were for their future in the crime family that they worked for.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Liza Liz Bethy: FOX's Beverly Hills 90210- The First Prime Time Soap Opera of Generation X

Source: FreeState Plus- Liza Liz Bethy- Luke Perry & Shannen Doherty-
Source: Liza Liz Bethy: Beverly Hills 90210- Brenda and Dylan: Ashes and Wine

When I was a freshman in high school, FOX was still a very young TV network at this point. They came out with a high school soap opera, with the cast all out of high school. Some of them graduating high school 5-7 years before this show came out. Beverly Hills 90210 which definitely had it's cheesy aspects about it, like some of the writing and the fact that a pair of twins, one male and female looked nothing alike . But this was the first prime time soap opera for adolescents of any kind and it was a well-rated prime time soap opera. 
Beverly Hills was the soap opera of my Generation X and this high school class of 1993 on the show was only a year ahead of me. So I got to watch it for three seasons while they were still in High School on the show. And while I was still in high school in real life. It was about a upper middle class family that moves from Minneapolis to Los Angles actually in Beverly Hills. 
Because the father played by James Eckhouse who plays Jim Walsh on the show, the husband of Cindy Walsh and the father of a set of twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh, played by Jason Priestly and Shannen Doherty, gets a job in Beverly Hills and moves his family out there. And is about how this family relates to their new friends out in Beverly Hills and life in general in a new city. This show had its drawbacks some of it was cheesy. But when I was in high school, I watched this show every week. Because it actually dealt with what adolescents were going through in real life. In an entertaining and a lot of times even funny way. So it was good TV. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Ronald Reagan Talks About Balancing the Budget in 1975

Source: Johnny Carson- Ronald Reagan & Johnny Carson-
Source: Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Ronald Reagan Talks About Balancing The Budget in 1975

I like and respect Ronald Reagan a lot, I've always had even though I'm a Liberal Democrat. Which might be like hearing how much a Boston Red Sox fan loves a player for the New York Yankees. But in my case my affection for President Reagan is real. Both personally and politically, even though we don't agree on a whole lot. Except as it relates to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, individual liberty and limited government. 

But our policies look a lot different, not a difference between big government and small government. But more relating in the role of government, not so much the overall size, but what it should be doing. But to listen to Ron Reagan talk about the need for a balance budget, is like listening to an obese person talk about the need for a healthy diet and exercise. Whatever they know about what they are talking about, is only through bad experiences. 

Its like saying, "we now know what doesn't work, had we known now then, we wouldn't of done a, because now we know a doesn't work. We would've done b or c instead, because we now know that b or c works". Its speaking in hindsight rather than foresight and not very visionary as far as this is what we should do, because we know it works based on this evidence. 

Had President Reagan listened to then candidate Reagan back in 1975, when he was talking about deficit reduction, he probably wouldn't of proposed the Economic Recovery Act of 1981. At least in that form, the economy was awful and needed a lot of stimulus and perhaps he would've proposed the tax cuts he did, the taxes then were way too high on everyone. Ranging somewhere between 20-70%. But since he felt the need for a balanced budget, he would've at least proposed to pay for those tax cuts. He would've proposed the increases in the defense budget, but proposed to pay for them. 

The fact is that President Reagan inherited a national debt of around 1T$ or more. Left office with around a 5T$ national debt, inherited a budget deficit from President Carter who had one of the worst economies we've ever seen. But it was 40B$, which thirty years ago wasn't a large deficit. Defenders of President Reagan like to say, "well thats the fault of the Democratic Congress's". The fact is President Reagan only had one Democratic Congress, his last two years. 

He had a Republican Senate for his first six years. President Reagan never sent a balanced budget to Congress or proposed a balance budget plan. What they did was deficit reduction, including tax hikes during his presidency. To say the Reagan Administration spent money like drunken sailors, would be an insult to drunken sailors. To use Senator John McCain's joke, they spent money like drunken Congressmen at a Congressional pork party, who are worried about reelection. Ron Reagan should've trusted his first instincts. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Brendan Cashell: Sexy Women Getting Frisked in a Bad Movie

Source: Brendan Cashell-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Here's an example of a cop who should be working as a pimp or running a strip bar or something. And leaving the law enforcement business to people who get enough at home and do not stop sexy women so they can get off. Another bad movie that will keep guys attention in long enough to be able to check out the sexy women in it. One of those low-budget films you tend to see late night like at 3AM on Showtime or Cinemax. Can't even tell you title of this movie, because I have no idea what it is. Not sure the person who uploaded the video knows what the movie is and perhaps just decided to record it when they were up late after drinking too much RedBull and being on the computer too long and not being able to go to sleep. But this is a sexy scene because of the women in it, but also an example of bad cops going wild who need to find another line of work. Like flipping laundry or washing floors in jail or prison.
Brendan Cashell: Sexy Woman Getting Frisked

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BBC: Strong Girls- Sexy Women Working Hard in Brown Leather Jeans

Source: BBC- Strong Women-
Source: BBC: Strong Girls- Women Working in Brown Leather Jeans

I gotta admit, I love seeing sexy women working hard in leather jeans. Which we don’t get to see a lot in America, because leather jeans aren’t very popular, outside of the biking and rock and roll culture. And they have even lost some popularity with those cultures as well. But leather jeans are still fairly popular in Europe, especially in Britain and Germany. You see them a lot on soap operas and with fashion models at shows. 

I saw a show which was a British home improvement show. And there were a couple of sexy British ladies working hard doing renovations on a house somewhere in Britain, wearing tight brown leather jeans. One of them wearing a brown leather suit with brown leather boots and they looked great. Tight leather jeans on sexy women can be as sexy as tight denim jeans on sexy women. You have attractive well-built women wearing leather jeans, and you're going to get a great look at her curves. That's the whole point of leather jeans, to show off women’s or men’s curves. Their legs and butts and how they look in them.
But seeing these women working hard in leather jeans, doing hard physical work, Gives me a question. Are these pants comfortable especially when doing physical work. Britain obviously doesn’t get a lot of hot humid weather. But would you see women in Italy, France or Spain working hard especially in the summer. Countries that get weather that’s very similar to the American Southeast. Imagine how hard they would be sweating in those pants. I mean I’m not complaining, they looked great on that show. And I would watch over and over, I just have a hard time seeing American women doing the same work in those pants during the summer.